Monday, February 2

Winning Hearts And Minds - Afghanistan Edition

Good God. Newsday is the only major newspaper who had this story on their website - we don't even know if it made the print edition. This is very sad.

Karzai: 10 Civilians Died in U.S. Attack
By STEPHEN GRAHAM
Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan president on Saturday said a U.S. air strike this month killed 10 civilians, including women and children, contradicting American military reports that claimed the casualties were Taliban militants.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said an arms dump blast that killed eight soldiers appeared to have been an accident.

The bloody events highlighted the pitfalls of the U.S. mission to defeat an escalating insurgency by supporters of the former ruling Taliban and al-Qaida that threatens summer elections.

President Hamid Karzai said an Interior Ministry report had found that the Jan. 17 air strike on a village killed 10 civilians -- despite the U.S. military's declaration that five Taliban militants and no civilians died.

"There are casualties unfortunately, according to the report that I have received, of civilians, of children and men and women," Karzai told reporters at his palace in the capital Kabul.

On Saturday, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said the Americans took the concerns of the Afghan government "very seriously," and that a review of its report was underway.